Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Rules

Jurisdiction - Extraordinary Writs - Supervisory Control - Original Proceedings

Rule 14. Jurisdiction - extraordinary writs - supervisory control - original proceedings.

(1) Jurisdiction. The supreme court is an appellate court but is empowered by Article VII, Sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution to hear and determine such original and remedial writs as may be necessary or proper to the complete exercise of its jurisdiction.

(2) Extraordinary writs. Proceedings commenced in the supreme court originally to obtain writs of habeas corpus, injunction, review or certiorari, mandate, quo warranto, and other remedial writs or orders, shall be commenced and conducted in the manner prescribed by the applicable sections of the Montana Code Annotated for the conduct of such or analogous proceedings and by these rules.

(3) Supervisory control. The supreme court has supervisory control over all other courts and may, on a case-by-case basis, supervise another court by way of a writ of supervisory control. Supervisory control is an extraordinary remedy and is sometimes justified when urgency or emergency factors exist making the normal appeal process inadequate, when the case involves purely legal questions, and when one or more of the following circumstances exist:

(a) The other court is proceeding under a mistake of law and is causing a gross injustice;

(b) Constitutional issues of state-wide importance are involved;

(c) The other court has granted or denied a motion for substitution of a judge in a criminal case.

(4) Original proceedings. An original proceeding in the form of a declaratory judgment action may be commenced in the supreme court when urgency or emergency factors exist making litigation in the trial courts and the normal appeal process inadequate and when the case involves purely legal questions of statutory or constitutional interpretation which are of state-wide importance.

(5) How commenced. The proceedings referred to in sections (2), (3), and (4) of this rule shall be commenced as follows:

(a) Where and when filed. A petition may be made to the supreme court at any time. The petitioner's petition and all supporting documents shall be filed with the clerk of the supreme court.

(b) What to contain. The petition must set forth:

(i) The facts which make it appropriate that the supreme court accept jurisdiction;

(ii) The particular legal questions and issues anticipated or expected to be raised in the proceeding;

(iii) In summary fashion, the arguments and authorities for accepting jurisdiction and pertaining to the merits of the particular questions and issues anticipated or expected to be raised. No separate memorandum of law or brief shall be filed with the application; and

(iv) To the extent they exist, as exhibits, without repetition of title of court and cause, a copy of each judgment, order, notice, pleading, document proceeding, or court minute referred to in the petition or which is necessary to make out a prima facie case or to substantiate the petition or conclusion or legal effect.

(v) In any proceeding regarding abused or neglected children under Title 41, Chapter 3 or in any proceeding under Title 40, Chapter 6, part 1 (Uniform Parentage Act); Title 41, Chapter 5 (Youth Court Act); Title 42 (Adoption); Title 52, Chapter 3, part 8 (Montana Elder and Persons With Developmental Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act); Title 53, Chapter 20 (Developmental Disabilities); Chapter 21 (Mentally Ill); or Chapter 24 (Alcoholism and Drug Dependence); or Title 72, Chapter 5, part 3 (Guardians of Incapacitated Persons), only the initials of the child, parent(s) or individual party(ies), as the case may be, may be used.

(6) Notice - writs. If a petition for an extraordinary writ or for a writ of supervisory control is filed with respect to any proceeding pending in the district court, the petition and any exhibits relating to a ruling of the district court must be served upon the district judge against whose ruling it is directed and upon all parties. Such petition shall include, in its title, the name of the district judge and the judicial district from which the ruling was issued.

(7) Procedure on filing.

(a) Upon the filing of a petition, the supreme court may order that a summary response be filed, or the supreme court may dismiss the petition without ordering a response. A summary response shall summarize the arguments and authorities for rejecting jurisdiction and shall otherwise comply with (5)(b)(ii) and (iii) and, to the extent necessary, (5)(b)(iv) of this rule. No separate memorandum of law or brief shall be filed with the summary response. No reply memorandum shall be filed to the summary response, except on order of the supreme court.

(b) In the event the supreme court orders a summary response, the supreme court also may order more extensive briefing, order oral argument, issue any other writ or order deemed appropriate in the circumstances, or dismiss the petition.

(c) The supreme court may order a stay of further proceedings in the other court, pending the supreme court's disposition of the petition.

(8) Oral argument. If oral argument is ordered it shall be conducted in the same manner as in the argument of appeals.

(9) Number of copies - format - word limitations.

(a) A signed original and 9 copies of any petition filed under this rule and any response thereto shall be filed with the clerk of the supreme court.

(b) All filings made pursuant to section (5)(a) of this rule shall conform to the requirements of rule 11, except that neither the text of the petition nor any response shall exceed 4,000 words if proportionately spaced or 12 pages if prepared in monospaced typeface or if typewritten.

(c) Exhibits shall be preceded by a table of contents and exhibits shall be separated by colored page separators.

(10) Briefs. In those cases in which the supreme court orders more extensive briefing, each party shall, unless otherwise ordered, prepare, file, and serve briefs in conformance with rule 12. All briefs shall be filed and served according to the time schedule set forth in the supreme court's order.

History: En. Sup. Ct. Ord. No. AF 07-0016, July 3, 2007, eff. October 1, 2007; amd. Sup. Ct. Ord. No. AF 07-0016, May 6, 2009, eff. October 1, 2009; amd. Sup. Ct. Ord. No. AF 07-0016, April 26, 2011, eff. October 1, 2011.